Alcohol and entertainment licences

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Under the Licensing Act 2003 the types of businesses and organisations that need a licence for entertainment might include:

  • nightclubs

  • live music venues

  • cinemas

  • larger theatres

  • larger street and open air festivals

  • larger indoor sporting arena

In particular a licence may be required by:

  • anyone that provides any entertainment between 23:00 PM and 08:00 AM;

  • anyone that provides amplified live or recorded music to an audience of more than 500 people;

  • anyone that provides recorded music to an audience on premises not licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol;

  • anyone that puts on a performance of a play or a dance to an audience of more than 500 people, or an indoor sporting event to more than 1,000 spectators

  • anyone that puts on boxing or wrestling

  • anyone that screens a film to an audience

These licensable activities may only be carried on under, and in accordance with, one of the following:

There must be a Designated Premises Supervisor specified on the Premises Licence who is responsible for authorising the sale of alcohol. This person must hold a Personal Licence and will normally be given day-to-day responsibility for running the premises.

The Act itself sets out key licensing objectives that must be promoted by the Council, as the licensing authority, in carrying out its duties under the licensing system. The licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder

  • Public Safety

  • The prevention of public nuisance

  • The protection of children from harm

Licence holders, Ipswich Borough Council and Responsible Authorities must all work together to promote these objectives.

The council has prepared a Licensing Policy which must be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary. The purpose of the policy is to set out the approach that the Licensing Authority intends to take when determining applications and carrying out its duties with regard to regulation and enforcement. The current Statement of Licensing Policy was approved by full Council in January 2016.

There is currently a ‘Cumulative Impact Policy’ in place for the central area of Ipswich Borough  which means that there is a presumption of refusal against new applications where representations have been received during the application consultation period.

A register of all Ipswich Borough licensed premises can be found on Ipswich Borough’s public register page. 

Information on applications for licensed premises that are open to representations can be found here 

If you require further information or are unsure if you need a licence please contact us.

Contact Details

Licensing and Enforcement,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432063